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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have surpassed expectations in a recent survey designed to evaluate cancer care in the UK.

The National Cancer Patient Experience survey takes place every year and is used to collect feedback from those undergoing cancer treatment. With 52 questions covering a broad range of topics – like finding out if patients were involved in decision making or if they felt respected during their hospital stay – the review monitors the progress of healthcare organisations and identifies any room for improvement.

The fieldwork for the latest survey was carried out between October 2018 and April 2019 and assessed the views of 123,512 respondents. Based on this, a general report was published that summarised the national picture and this was then followed by individual, organisation-specific versions.

DBTH has performed exceptionally well this year, scoring above the national average at 8.9 out of 10. As such, the Trust now ranks as the best in the locality, over Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield, Chesterfield and Mid Yorks. This outcome represents a significant step forward for DBTH, having previously been placed towards the lower end of the spectrum, with some questions improving by as much as 15%.

In terms of specific answers, the survey found that 85% of DBTH cancer patients found it to be ‘’quite easy’’ or ‘‘very easy’’ to contact their Clinical Nurse Specialist. Meanwhile, 96% of local respondents said that hospital staff told them who to contact if they were worried about their condition and 87% expressed that they were always treated with dignity and respect.

This positive change in results can be attributed to various factors, with the healthcare provider refining its approach to cancer education, considering feedback from other surveys and testimonials and bolstering their workforce with extra urology staff. In addition to this, the Trust has also put together a weekly support group that offers counselling to cancer patients, explaining the potential side-effects of treatment and what to expect.

Speaking about this Stacey Nutt, Lead Cancer Nurse, said: ‘’We are so pleased with this result, as it shows that patients recognise the hard work and dedication of our cancer services team and that they are being well looked after. Since the last survey, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to make enhancements wherever possible and as a result of these efforts we have come such a long way. I know that this means a lot to the team and I am so proud of everything we have achieved. Of course, there is still more to come and we are always looking to improve even further.’’

Published this September, the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2018 is the eight iteration of the survey, having ran annually since 2010.